How to Update an Affirmative Action Compliance Program

April 5, 2021 at 4:00 AM

Affirmative action compliance programs were implemented to prevent discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, veteran status, and national origin during the hiring process. In essence, they are designed to ensure that every qualified candidate has an equal chance of landing the job and that certain people aren’t excluded from the pool of candidates.

Suppose you operate a business with 50 or more employees and have entered into at least one contract with the federal government for $50,000 or more. In that case, you are legally required to have a written plan in place, and that plan must be updated annually to remain compliant with federal rules and regulations. If the time has come for you to update your company’s plan, use this helpful guide to ensure it remains an effective policy and avoid costly fines and penalties.

Tips for updating your affirmative action compliance program.

Give yourself plenty of time.

Any company that meets the criteria outlined above is subject to an affirmative action compliance program audit at any time. If you can’t demonstrate that you’ve implemented the necessary measures when one happens, it could cost your company business and result in costly fines and penalties.

The best way to avoid these issues is by setting a regular date each year for when you will update your program. Once that date is set, you can start working on it ahead of time to ensure it is appropriately renovated without creating a stressful situation for your team.

Perform your own internal audit.

Before making any changes to your affirmative action compliance program, it’s always best to take a look at the current policies and processes you’ve used in the previous year. This is an opportunity for you to be self-critical and identify areas where the required measures were not followed precisely.

Whether it’s not interviewing the necessary number of people for an open position or failing to display the job posting everywhere it should appear, identifying your problem areas is essential to remaining compliant in the upcoming year.

Create a set of Good Faith Efforts.

Once you’ve identified lapses in your affirmative action program, the next step is to develop action plans for your Good Faith Efforts (GFEs). GFEs are a written narrative that outlines the activities you plan to implement to achieve your goals of remaining compliant.

These can include things such as reviewing workforce compliance policies, monitoring purchase orders and contracts, placing your equal employment opportunity taglines on all career portals and job postings, and distributing your revised plan to all necessary stakeholders.

Project any upcoming vacancies and appointments.

Both gaining new employees and losing current appointments will affect your overall affirmative action compliance. To ensure your updated program will cover your business, it’s essential to project how your staffing will change over the next year. There are a number of ways you can do this.

Ask if there are plans to increase or decrease the number of budgeted positions, whether or not there are any upcoming agency or statewide hiring freezes or layoffs, and what programs are being added, expanded, or discontinued. Once you have that information, you can adjust your plans accordingly to remain compliant.

Is it time to update your affirmative action compliance program?

The best way to ensure yours is suitably updated to avoid any compliance issues is to work with the experts here at InterConnect Human Resource Services. With more than 25 years of industry experience, we create tailored HR compliance solutions for each of our clients.

We’ve worked with businesses of all sizes, so we have the knowledge needed to review your current plan and overlook your efforts to keep your company compliant with all government rules and regulations. Learn more about how we can help your business with its affirmative action plan, or send us a message online to schedule your initial consultation.